11.9.01

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Gitmo Files: Would-Be Terrorists Sought 9/11 Follow-Up

In al Qaeda, Guantanamo Bay, Muslims and Arabs after 9/11, Pakistan and Afghanistan on April 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

More reveals from the Gitmo leaks, though this is not so surprising:

WASHINGTON — He peers out from the photo in the classified file through heavy-framed spectacles, an owlish face with a graying beard and a half-smile. Saifullah Paracha, a successful businessman and for years a New York travel agent, appears to be the oldest of the 172 prisoners still held at the Guantánamo Bay prison. His dossier is among the most chilling.

In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Paracha, 63, was one of a small circle of Al Qaeda operatives who explored ways to follow up on the hijackings with new attacks, according to the classified Guantánamo files made available to The New York Times.

Working with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 9/11 planner who in early 2002 gave him $500,000 to $600,000 “for safekeeping,” Mr. Paracha offered his long experience in the shipping business for a scheme to move plastic explosives into the United States inside containers of women’s and children’s clothing, the files assert.

“Detainee desired to help Al Qaeda ‘do something big against the U.S.,’ ” one of his co-conspirators, Ammar al-Baluchi, told Guantánamo interrogators, the files say. Mr. Paracha discussed obtaining biological or nuclear weapons as well, though he was concerned that detectors at ports “would make it difficult to smuggle radioactive materials into the country,” the file says.

Mr. Paracha’s assessment is among more than 700 classified documents that fill in new details of Al Qaeda’s efforts to make 9/11 just the first in a series of attacks to cripple the United States, intentions thwarted as the Central Intelligence Agency captured Mr. Mohammed and other leaders of the terrorist network.

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New Leak Sheds Light on Gitmo

In Civil Liberties, Guantanamo Bay, Muslims and Arabs after 9/11, Rendition, Torture on April 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

A new leak provided to the NYTimes provides new details on Gitmo operations:

WASHINGTON — A trove of more than 700 classified military documents provides new and detailed accounts of the men who have done time at the Guantánamo Bayprison in Cuba, and offers new insight into the evidence against the 172 men still locked up there.

Military intelligence officials, in assessments of detainees written between February 2002 and January 2009, evaluated their histories and provided glimpses of the tensions between captors and captives. What began as a jury-rigged experiment after the 2001 terrorist attacks now seems like an enduring American institution, and the leaked files show why, by laying bare the patchwork and contradictory evidence that in many cases would never have stood up in criminal court or a military tribunal.

The documents meticulously record the detainees’ “pocket litter” when they were captured: a bus ticket to Kabul, a fake passport and forged student ID, a restaurant receipt, even a poem. They list the prisoners’ illnesses — hepatitis, gout, tuberculosis, depression. They note their serial interrogations, enumerating — even after six or more years of relentless questioning — remaining “areas of potential exploitation.” They describe inmates’ infractions — punching guards, tearing apart shower shoes, shouting across cellblocks. And, as analysts try to bolster the case for continued incarceration, they record years of detainees’ comments about one another.

The secret documents, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, reveal that most of the 172 remaining prisoners have been rated as a “high risk” of posing a threat to the United States and its allies if released without adequate rehabilitation and supervision. But they also show that an even larger number of the prisoners who have left Cuba — about a third of the 600 already transferred to other countries — were also designated “high risk” before they were freed or passed to the custody of other governments.

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